Every man and those who love him should know how to prevent prostate cancer. This is because a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every three minutes. Fortunately, thanks to strides in cancer research and cancer clinical trials, this disease is often preventable and has a very high survival rate, if detected in the early stages.
Who is at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer?
Some men have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, but that doesn’t seem that they will develop the disease. Also, it is possible that a man with several risk factors will never develop the disease.
These risk factors include:
The chances of developing prostate cancer drastically increase when a man turns 50. However, over half the cancer cases are discovered in men who are 65 or older. It is rare for a male under the age of 40 to develop prostate cancer; however, it can happen.
- Genetics and Family History
Most prostate cancer occur in men without a family history, but there are some links that suggest their are inherited factors in developing prostate cancer. Discuss your family medical history with your doctor to help determine if you should have a genetic cancer risk assessment. If you have a family history of prostate cancer or many of the risk factors be sure talk to your doctor about things you can do to lower your risks.
- Geographic Location
North Americans have a slightly higher risk than men in many other parts of the world. The reasons for this are still unknown, but are believed to be related to the more advanced screening methods in the United States.
Race is another factor; your chances of dying from prostate cancer are over two times higher if you are a Caribbean man of African descent or African-American male. Studies indicate that this is because a high majority of African-American males have one or two copies of a genetic variant, which is a variation in the DNA sequence of their genomes. Also making them more than two-times more likely to die from the disease than white men.
It is best to be aware of risk factors and seek help with your doctor if you notice any abnormal changes.
How do you lower your risk of prostate cancer?
The success in treating prostate cancer has also provided more knowledge on how to lower our risks of prostate cancer. While there are many factors, such as genes, age and race, that we aren’t able to control; there are a few factors that we can control to help lower risks, including:
- Schedule a physical with your doctor each year. This is important because the beginning stages of prostate cancer have few or no symptoms. An annual physical can help detect the disease in the earliest stages.
- Eating a healthy diet that includes at least 2.5 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, and cauliflower are especially good.
- Avoiding obesity by keeping your body at a healthy weight.
- Exercising on a regular basis.
- Avoid smoking, or quit if you already smoke.
- Talk to your doctor. If you feel that you are at a greater risk to develop prostate cancer, talk to your doctor about additional vitamins, mineral, or medications that you can take to help lower your risks.
Talk to your healthcare provider about what’s best for you and to schedule your yearly prostate cancer screening. However, increased urination or a weaker flow of urine can be signs of advanced prostate cancer, and while these problems can also be caused by other problems that have nothing to do with cancer, we recommend making an appointment to see your doctor about these symptoms. There are tests can detect prostate cancer in its earliest stages, whether or not you have any symptoms. If the test result is abnormal, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have the disease. Your doctor will conduct other tests to find out for sure.
For help with this disease in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., area, contact us to make an appointment with one of our prostate cancer specialists. Our staff members are up-to-date on the latest clinical trials and cancer research and will help you choose the best treatment option to successfully battle this disease.